Better Chemistry Between the Government and the Chemical Industry

November 4, 2004 by  

The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of

the Environment called today on the chemical industry to work more closely

with government to achieve the goals set out in the Government of Canada’s

Speech from the Throne and to help meet the challenge of competitiveness and

environmental sustainability.

In a speech to the Canadian Chemical Producers Association meeting in

Ottawa, Minister Dion noted that chemical producers have made impressive

progress with their initiatives to voluntarily reduce the release of toxic

substances that can pose a risk to human health and the environment, but that

more work by both the industry and the government is needed.

According to Minister Dion, “Government will continue to assess risks

based on sound science, and industry must play its role by bringing forward

the scientific information on the chemicals it produces. Such partnerships are

vital to the development of optimal science and technology, and, using our

ingenuity, we can ensure that safer chemicals are developed and marketed.”

The need to continually improve performance is behind the most recent

Speech from the Throne commitment to develop and implement policies that

systematically integrate sustainable development into the government’s

decision making. Further, the government will ensure that Canadians are kept

better informed.

“We intend to intensify our efforts to constantly improve the information

we provide to Canadians about the risks relating to chemical substances and

the actions that governments, industry and individuals must take to reduce

these risks,” added the Minister.

The integration of sustainable development into decision making will be

carried out under a new framework for competitiveness and environmental

sustainability supported by five pillars:

– a better decision-making process engaging all sectors of society;

– better science to foster the effective development of policies and


– better information on environmental indicators, including risks,

posed by existing and new chemicals;

– a clear and effective system of incentives and penalties; and

– better public education.


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